#38 Notre Dame Softball 2018 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Overall Rank: #38
Conference Rank: #3 ACC
Notre Dame reached their 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament last year and this season they should make it 20. It may not be easy though with a couple key departed players, most notably Karley Wester and pitcher Rachel Nasland. It is in the circle where the Irish may face their biggest concerns heading into the 2018 campaign. Katie Beriont is an experienced senior who went 12-6 last season with a 3.97 ERA. Junior Cait Brooks has been very good at the plate, but she may be asked to do more work on the mound this year. However, the hopes are high for incoming freshmen Alexis Holloway and Morgan Ryan. If Holloway lives up to her potential right away, she could be the ace of the staff from day one.
2017: 34-23, 13-11
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Deanna Gumpf
Key Departed Players:
Karley Wester, OF, .344 BA, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 31 SB
Rachel Nasland, P, 3.71 ERA, 17-12 W-L, 187.0 IP, 117 SO
Key Returning Players:
Morgan Reed, IF, .369 BA, 9 HR, 59 RBI
Ali Wester, OF, .398 BA, 14 RBI
Cait Brooks, IF, .304 BA, 8 HR, 39 RBI
Melissa Rochford, IF, .302 BA, 5 HR, 42 RBI
Katie Beriont, P, 3.97 ERA, 12-6 W-L, 128.2 IP, 66 SO
Even if the pitching has some issues, Notre Dame has the talent at the plate to make up for it. Morgan Reed, Cait Brooks and Melissa Rochford all batted over .300 and have the ability to drive in plenty of runs. Ali Wester is often one of those players that they drive in. She hit .398 last season and the junior seems to always be on base. With so much talent and experience at the plate, Notre Dame will be in good shape. If Holloway can step right in and dominate the ACC, the Irish could be an extremely dangerous team by the time the NCAA Tournament rolls around.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament